PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X introduce next-gen gaming

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Alex Dakin

The PlayStation 5 is the largest console in recent history, being 15.4 inches tall, 4 inches wide, and 10.2 inches long.

The releases of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S in November have marked the beginning of a new generation in console gaming.
The console’s launch came with some immediate turbulence, as all online stores that were offering them sold out in literal seconds. Every subsequent restock has also been very short, though they at least last a minute rather than seconds.
“It was awful,” junior Ruben Barajas, a student who managed to purchase an Xbox Series X, said. “All the websites were crashing. I was just about to give up, but I refreshed Target and it was fixed, and then I started celebrating.”
Sony seems to have had an even more difficult time satisfying the demands of their fans than Xbox, but they did run a promotional event that gave a select few PlayStation users a chance to have a reserved PlayStation 5 to purchase on release. Senior Alex Dakin was lucky enough to have a console reserved for him through this promo.
“[My family and I] were looking online at midnight as soon as it was available for pre-order and we eventually had to give up,” Dakin said. “Then the next day I saw that I got an email from Sony saying that they had reserved one for me.”
Even into December, these issues have not been resolved by either Microsoft or Sony. A scalper group that is purchasing consoles and reselling them with incredibly inflated prices have claimed to have purchased 3,500 PlayStation 5’s and 1000 Xbox Series X’s, outraging many.
The new consoles boast many improvements over the previous generation. Their most advertised feature is the impressively reduced loading times. Both consoles are significantly faster than their previous installments, on average loading games twice as fast as previous gen, and often even quicker than that.
Each console is available in multiple versions; Sony offers the PlayStation 5 for $499.99, as well as the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, which does not have a disc drive and therefore can only play games downloaded from the PlayStation Store for $399.99. Microsoft has the XBox Series X at $499.99 and the Xbox Series S, which also cannot play games on disc and has some reduced digital specifications, for $299.99.
The next-generation consoles also have many other performance upgrades. The new consoles can reach up to 120 frames per second, while the last generation’s maximum was 60. They are also capable of 4K High Dynamic Range, meaning a wider variety of more vibrant colors, and are compatible with 8K HDR as well. More powerful hardware also allows for improved graphics like ray tracing, meaning nearly photorealistic shadows and lighting.
“Playing in 4K 60 frames per second and quick resume feels great,” Barajas said. “I had the base Xbox One so it was very noticeable.”
Fans of each system also boast about features that the other may not have or features that are superior to their counterparts on the competitor. The PlayStation 5, for example, is capable of playing almost every PlayStation 4 game through its backward compatibility. PlayStation fans will also bring up that the games exclusive to their console are superior to those on the Xbox.
“I definitely think the exclusives like Bloodborne and Uncharted are way better on the PlayStation,” Dakin said. “Also the backward compatibility is really big.”
On the other hand, Xbox’s strongest feature is the Xbox Game Pass. This is a subscription service that offers over 100 games to be downloaded and played at any time, sometimes even including big-name games on their release days. The PlayStation has a counter to this, PlayStation Now, but it does not contain as many critically acclaimed games.
Sony and Microsoft are continuing their attempts to meet demands by speeding to produce more consoles. While they continue to sell out quickly, you can keep an eye out online for times when these systems are restocked on websites like Target, Walmart, Gamestop, Best Buy, and Sony and Microsoft’s own sites.